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My heart hurts today…

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On November 4th, 2008, Californians voted not to allow people of the same sex to get married, even though the California Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to prevent humans of their basic right to marry the person they love.

My fiancé, Arann and I were at the Westin Hotel in San Francisco on election night, with our dear friends who worked so hard on the No on 8 campaign to protect equality for all. The huge ball room was packed with couples who were so nervous that their right to marry the person, who they loved most in the world, would be taken away. The room was thick with emotions, as we all waited and waited and waited. The numbers coming in were not good. And eventually, they told everyone to go home because we wouldn’t have an answer until the morning… but we all knew.

And today my heart hurts.

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Arann and I are supposed to get married on April 4, 2009. But I called him from the airport today and said I didn’t think we should get married. And he said he was thinking the same thing.

When we first got engaged, I wasn’t so sure about the idea of having a wedding. But slowly the idea grew on us and we started to understand the importance. A wedding is not a marriage, but it is a ceremony that brings together all the love and support of everyone in your community, as you take this huge step forward.

So, the more we thought about the meaning of our big step forward, the more we felt it was important to have our community with us, as we vow to care for each other for the rest of our lives. It is especially important to us that my grandparents, who will celebrate their 65 wedding anniversary next year, are there to pass on their advice and inspiration to us.

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So, we picked a day and we started making plans. A hike, followed by a ceremony, followed by a reception with a collective art show, with the theme: Advice, followed by good food and dancing. We thought that would be the perfect way to enter into the next stage of our lives as a married couple.

But as we stood there election night, surrounded by people whose hearts were breaking as they were told their marriages would no longer be accepted… we started to question why we should have the right to marry, when other people don’t, just because their body parts are the same.

It doesn’t make any sense to me. In a world of such hatred and fighting, why wouldn’t we want to encourage and support people who want to build their community? Why don’t we want to encourage people to promise to love and care for each other for the rest of their lives? If it is about God, I was taught that we are not supposed to judge, so… then let God judge, if that is what you believe.

Same sex marriages will not hurt you.

The pesticides people spray on their lawns that washes into the storm drains, and into the rivers, and pollutes the water, and kills the fish, and breaks down the food chain… will hurt you. The SUV’s people drive that consume a lot of gas and spit out a lot of carbon dioxide that heats up the planet, and melts the glaciers, and raises the sea levels… will hurt you. But allowing people to love the person they choose to love in their own homes… will not hurt you.

So, Arann and I would like to get married. We want the love and support of our community, but we don’t want to get married until everyone can. And so today, my heart hurts and my eyes are sore from crying because I have a better understanding of what it feels like not to be able to marry the person you love.

If you believe in equality for all, please take a moment and sign this petition:

http://www.petitiononline.com/seg5130/petition.html

Thank you for your support.

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About the author paige green

Paige Green is a documentary and portrait photographer, whose storytelling approach to photography frequently addresses issues involving agriculture, land use, and food. Her work is featured in nine books and has been published in Glamour, National Geographic Traveler, New York Times Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, GQ, Country Living, House Beautiful, and Culture. Paige lives in Petaluma, CA with a house full of boys.

All posts by paige green →

14 Comments

  1. Dear Paige,

    Right now I feel like crawling back into the cave and I can’t stop the tears, but I am also remembering the support we got from such really wonderful people like you. This seems to be one of the last civil rights struggles and we are one of the last groups people can openly hate–but it is early Weds morning and I am going to get more positive as the days go by and we regroup. I have a wedding picture up on my desk at work and we have them in our album and two of our favorites hanging on the wall in our house and they inspire us and make us feel happy. Thank you again, more than I can say, for your gift of the beautiful pictures and also your heart.

    Martha

    Reply

  2. That is wonderful. I think you should wait to until all can marry. AND I hope it is NEVER. Long live the the TRUE institution of marriage.

    Reply

  3. Hi Paige.

    What a moving entry in your blog. You are amazing! It is bizarre that the US can make such a bold step in the right direction towards equal rights by voting for Obama, while at the same time move backwards on the issue of same sex marriages. The mind boggles. Although, this is an issue that is close to my heart, I don’t think you and Arann should put your day off because of it. You both deserve happiness and should go ahead with your day when it feels right. Talk to you on skype soon. T x

    Reply

  4. Dear Paige,

    I have to admit that I put off reading your entry for a bit because I knew I was going to end up crying in the office. My heart is broken because, of the recent decision to limit full equality but, I still have the hope that it will come together. I am so lucky to have you both as friends and anchors to really keep me up. I love you and look forward to celebrating your union in April. I think you should keep your plans despite the recent bad news. We will need something to look forward to and celebrate in the coming months after our eyes are dry and our hearts full again.

    Thank you for keeping your childlike heart and love always. You are true Sunshine.

    Love you,
    Michelle

    Reply

  5. Hey Paige, your blog here is so much more eloquent than I could have put it, and I truly admire the decision the two of you have made. I am sick with the fact that California (and Arkansas and Florida and Arizona) have allowed such hatred to be codified.

    I already ordered a bumper sticker for my car that says HATE and has a big red circle with a line through it. In this day and age, we’re going backwards.

    Thanks for writing about it.

    Reply

  6. Thankyou.
    These past two 1/2 weeks standing on my local corner with my signs meeting new friends has filled my heart with hope, a christian woman brought me a sign she made WWJD – Say No on 8- jesus does not hate, couldn’t stand with me but couldn’t pass by either without doing something.People stopping the car and spontaneously protesting, housewives with kids, students as a gay person this has meant the world and they- my new friends are equally as devastated and have called to check on me!
    This is not over, it’s just the beginning
    equality for all
    in our lifetime

    Reply

  7. I don’t feel like I have much else to add to your comment stream. Honestly, I am really surprised by California…here in Montana that kind of intolerance is, well, tolerated. The good ole boys. But, California?

    Thanks for putting it out there. Your words are powerful. So true your statements about what hurts us and what doesn’t. It seems so simple.

    Love you.

    Reply

  8. Thank you for your most beautifully written post. There are times, as a gay person in America, I often feel betrayed and hurt by actions such as Proposition 8. I wrongfully become angry and begin generalizing those darned hetersexuals, and I become a heterophobe… briefly, but it still shamefully happens. I always come back to my senses and start calling every heterosexual person I know offering some crazy sort of rambling apology – and they usually have no idea what I’m talking about. Some day, I hope that the gay rights movement will no longer be “just a little bit of history repeated.”

    It’s nice to know you do not take your marriage for granted, but I believe that you should celebrate yourself, celebrate your love and enjoy the rights and privileges bestowed upon you by our country rather than taking one for the team. Don’t suffer for a cause, live for it.

    Reply

  9. I just came across your blog as it was linked on the Diary of a Modern Matriarch.

    This post was beautifully written.

    I realize I haven’t read much of your writing, but it is apparent in the small amount I have, that you are beautiful, inside and out.

    Reply

  10. […] with each other and all of our loved ones, Arann and I have decided to still have our “celebration” as planned on the 4th of April. We came to this decision because the meaning of the day […]

    Reply

  11. This is so well written. I am not sure if I will ever understand what people do to people. I love what you and Arann are doing.

    xoxo, Terri

    Reply

  12. […] so many directions and I haven’t had time for anything other than work and planning for the wedding celebration Arann and I had with some of our closest friends and family over the weekend. The official/legal […]

    Reply

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